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July 31, 2014

Homework Help: Environmental Science

Posted by y912f on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 6:55pm.

#34. In two or three well-developed paragraphs, name and describe the five primary air pollutants and provide several sources of each.

my answer:
There are five primary air pollutants and some sources of each of them. The first pollutant is Carbon monoxide (CO). CO is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas, and is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. The sources of CO are cars, trucks, buses, small engines, and some industrial processes. The effects of Co is that it interferes with the bloods ability to carry oxygen, slowing reflexes and causing drowsiness. In high concentration, CO can even cause death. The second primary pollutant is Nitrogen oxides (Nox). When combustion (burning) temperatures exceed 538degreesC, nitrogen and oxygen combine to form nitrogen oxides. The primary sources of Nox, comes from burning fuels in vehicles, power plants, and industrial boilers. Some effects of Nox are that it can make the body vulnerable to respiratory infections, lung diseases, and cancer. Nox contributes to the brownish haze seen over cities ad to acid precipitation. Sulful dioxide (SO2) is the third primary air pollutant, and is produced by chemical interactions between sulfur and oxygen. SO2 comes mostly from burning fossil fuels. SO2 contributes to acid precipitation as sulfuric acid. Secondary pollutants can harm plan life and irritate the respiratory systems of humans. These are just some of the effects of SO2. The fourth primary air pollutant is Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are organic chemicals that vaporize readily and form toxic fumes. The sources of VOCs is that it comes from burning fuels. Vehicles are a major source of VOCs. It also contributes to smog formation and can cause serious health problems, such as cancer. They may also harm plants. Finally, the last primary air pollutant is Particulate matter (particulates or PM). Particulates are tiny particles of liquid or solid matter. Most of them come from construction, agriculture, forestry, and fires. Vehicles and industrial processes also contribute particulates. The effects of particulates is that it can form clouds that reduce visibility and cause a variety of respiratory problems. Particulates have also been linked to cancer. They may also corrode metals and erode buildings and sculptures.

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